It’s Friday afternoon. You’re wrapping up your workday and feeling goooood. Your co-workers are all headed for happy hour and they keep bugging you about joining them. But you’re not interested. In fact, you can’t wait to get home!
Because you know that in 4 hours and 32 minutes you’re going to see your new crush again! You’ve been waiting all week (you both have busy schedules after all) so it’s taken some extra coordinating to make tonight work, and you can’t wait!
- Outfit that makes you feel like a rockstar – ✓
- Reservation at a great restaurant – ✓
- Tidied house – ✓
- Favourite bottle of wine ✓
- Clean sheets – ✓
- Their favourite breakfast food in the fridge – ✓
- Impeccable personal grooming – ✓
You’ve been seeing this person for a few months now, and you’re hooked! You know you’re into them, and they’re into you too. It’s blissful! You’re feeling happier, more relaxed and easy going than you have in a long time. Your friends even comment on how much more fun you are these days.
Love… ain’t it grand? It can build us up and make us better people when we’re falling into it. Fast forward 4 years and 32 days and it might not be the same story on a Friday night – right? Things are probably a little more relaxed, and that’s a good thing – right?
It is, as long as you’re still putting the other person first in other ways…
Great relationships happen when you consistently put your partner’s needs and feelings as a priority.
It’s human nature to slip into the path of least resistance and do whatever is easiest… it’s normal and happens to the best of us.
Especially when you’re referring to a long period of time – that’s why your relationships look so different at the end than they did in the beginning. The thing is, if you want to have your relationship thrive over the long haul, you’ve gotta put in consistent effort.
“If you do what you did in the beginning of the relationship there won’t be an end.”Tony Robbins
It’s like going to the gym, you don’t go once in a while and expect to look ripped. Feeling strong and physically fit doesn’t happen with quarterly gym visits, you have to go regularly and be intentional about the effort you’re putting while you’re there.
Same deal for your relationships – if you want it to feel good (and have good ‘sexy-time’) in the long run, you have to put in the effort.
Putting your partner as a priority means you think about what you can give to the relationship vs. what you can get from it.
Let’s be honest, most of us haven’t really thought about this with any intentionality. When we think about putting our partner’s needs as a priority, what usually happens is:
- We put our own agenda first.
- Then if our partner kinda-sorta gets what they want, that’s good enough.
Unfortunately, that won’t work to create strong, connected, and committed relationships with any depth. Taking time to consider how your actions and decisions affect your partner is key to establishing a positive culture in your relationship.
In great relationships, both parties are responsible for regularly thinking: “how will this affect my partner?”
It may feel counterintuitive, but when you give generously to your partner for the sake of giving and without expectation (your time, your love, your kindness, and your consideration) your partner has the experience of receiving.
When your partner regularly has the experience of receiving (having their needs met) they will be more likely to generously give to you.
It is important to keep in mind that giving with the intention to receive isn’t actually giving at all. It’s doing something in order to get your needs met. It’s self-focused and will not create a culture of generosity in your relationship.
When you create a culture of generosity in your relationship your needs will naturally get met. In this case, that means the focus is on “how can I contribute to my partner/ this relationship” vs. “what can I get from my partner/ this relationship”. What’s beautiful about this is your needs are met in a more fulfilling and loving way than you imagined.
Give up the “what about me” mindset to create long-term happiness in your relationship.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself:
- How will what I’m doing (or not doing) affect my partner, their feelings, and the relationship as a whole?
- Is what I believe I want or need in the best interest of the relationship?
- What can I do in this situation that would make a difference for my partner?
“The difference between the Masters of relationships and the Disasters is that they are gentle, kind, and considerate of each other’s feelings.”Dr. John Gottman PhD
There are a number of components to great relationships that most of us haven’t even thought about before. There weren’t any classes in school that taught us how to ‘do’ relationships well. Yet relationships are one of the most important and impactful experiences in our lives.
If you’re feeling like your relationships are challenging you’re not alone. Learning how to ‘do’ relationships will is worth your time and energy. Just think about the time and energy you waste thinking about, worrying about, stressing over, or avoiding all together the challenging stuff in your relationships…
Now think about that in aggregate terms…
We’re talking about a significant portion of your valuable time (days, weeks, years even??) senselessly wasted. How many golf games is that? How many deals could you have closed in that time? How much more time could you have spent at your kid’s games if you didn’t waste it on this stuff?
Learning how to do relationships well is worth your time.